An Atticist Lexicon Of The Second Sophistic: Philemon And The Atticist Movement

by Brown, Christopher

Abstract (Summary)
Greek lexicography was central to classical philology in the nineteenth century. The grammatical and lexical traditions of antiquity and Byzantium have been relatively unexplored since then, despite their importance both for understanding the ancient authors and as traditions in their own right. Atticistic lexica in particular provide insight into the development of the Greek language and a programme of Sprachausbau whose outcome can be better understood with the help of new lexicographical resources and advances in linguistics. Interest in lexicography dates back to Homer and the literary dialects transmitted through Greek paideia. Lexica were first composed as an aid to understanding obsolescent ???????, but seem to have also been used prescriptively. In Alexandria scholars such as Aristophanes of Byzantium developed krisis of ancient literature through the study of canonical usage. From the fifth century into the Roman period the Greek language was restructured in its phonology, morphology, syntax, and vocabulary. This was the result of language contact brought about by expansion of the Athenian and Macedonian empires. This change may have been brought about by creole formation as the language was imposed on new populations. Spoken koine dialects, characterized by simplification and reduction, diverged widely through the Hellenistic period. The new koine itself became a metalanguage, the first Greek dialect that appeared common to all speakers. Plato€™s criticism of the Sophists and the Lycaeum€™s development of prescriptive standards were part of a tradition of theoretical reflection on language; elements of this tradition entered the Stoic system that identified purity of language with morality and wisdom. Linguistic purism, linked with notions of prescriptivity, is a nearly universal phenomenon. Diglossia refers specifically to situations where a prestige language H has different functions from a colloquial language L with which it coexists. H should be understood as a target on one end of a continuum of usage. The importance to the development of Greek of the reintroduction of old forms through puristic usage should not be underestimated. Classical purism involves translation and linguistic assimilation into the idiom of an ancient speech community imagined as diachronic. Atticism arose from the Roman encounter with Hellenism; the frame of classicism made possible Roman assimilation of Greek achievements in art and literature. Developed as a tool for the analysis of texts, Alexandrian ?????? transmitted in Atticist lexica became the foundation for the active appropriation of Athenian language and thought by Greek-speaking Romans. Philemon, author of an Atticist lexicon, was a scholar and poet in the late second century AD. His fragments can be pieced together from two different manuscript traditions. Analysis of his work provides evidence for language change in the second century, for words and forms not otherwise attested, and for the outcome of the Atticist programme.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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